Everton's under-performers rediscover their mojo in exciting win over Wolves

By Lyndon Lloyd 01/09/2019 76comments  |  Jump to last

Well, that’s more like it! There's no question that had this match ended 2-2 as it looked like it might with 15 minutes to go, Evertonians would've gone into the international break feeling somewhat deflated.

Five points from a possible 12 would've felt like a poor return from the relatively comfortable opening set of fixtures to the new season but seven points and sixth place heading into the first enforced two-week hiatus of the campaign has a much rosier look to it.

Everton may have come into this game on a five-match winning streak and an unbeaten run that stretched all the way back to the defeat to Manchester City back in early February but, in many respects, this proved to be the toughest assignment they had faced since.

No surprise there given how easily Wolves had turned the Blues over at Goodison Park a few days prior to that defeat to the Champions. Despite their Europa League exertions on Thursday, the Midlanders provided as stern a test as feared — albeit in a more direct way than that for which Nuno Espirito Santo’s team are generally renowned — for an Everton team who may have redeemed themselves somewhat in midweek with a cup win at Lincoln city but who were still reeling to a degree from the debacle at Villa Park nine days ago.

Today Marco Silva needed a reaction and a strong performance from some key individuals and in Gylfi Sigurdsson, Andre Gomes and Richarlison in particular, he will have seen three players who responded in pleasingly strong fashion while also getting some telling contributions from another trio making their full Premier League debuts.

Alex Iwobi scored with his second header in the space of four days, Moise Kean played a vital role in the opening goal and Fabian Delph helped coordinate things in the middle with the kind of energy and combativeness that was so sorely lacking in the matches against Crystal Palace and Villa. As such, if he can stay fit, the £8m acquisition from Manchester City could prove to be one of the steals of the summer.

Not that it was all plain sailing, of course. Wolves twice pegged Everton back with goals that were poorly defended, there were times when the Blues’ central midfield was a little too porous and in the first half especially, the visitors were getting behind the fullbacks with worrying ease. But, having twice lost the lead, this was a test of character and resolve that Silva’s boys passed, even in the face of some typically one-sided refereeing from Anthony Taylor.

The biggest headlines deservedly belonged to Richarlison, a player who was perhaps fortunate to keep his place in the team after the opening three matches of the season. His manager — nay, mentor — Silva had enough faith that the young Brazilian might use the platform of the League Cup tie at Sincil Bank to kickstart his season, and so it proved. He scored an emphatic header on Wednesday evening and had the Blues up and running inside five minutes of the kick-off this afternoon.

Everton had signalled their early intent with their first attack in the fourth minute when Iwobi picked Sigurdsson out with a cross that the Icelander could only head over but the pressing from the front paid dividends a minute later. Kean forced Conor Coady back towards goal whereupon the defender miscued his back-pass to Rui Patricio, the keeper’s attempted clearance struck Kean and fell invitingly into the path of Richarlison who fired a shot that bounced off the ground and looped up into the goal.

It was a lead that would last just four minutes, though. Lucas Digne failed to deal with a high ball down Wolves’ right flank and Adama Traoré took it off him and burst to the byline, out-stripping the Frenchman for pace again as he powered inside before fizzing it low across the face of Jordan Pickford’s goal. Seamus Coleman could only block its path and Romain Saïss prodded home the loose ball to level the match.

Everton were back in front just three minutes later. Coleman’s initial cross was a disappointing one but the hosts regained possession and Richarlison hooked an excellent pass down the line for Sigurdsson. He whipped an equally impressive ball into the middle where Iwobi was on hand to steer a header past the goalkeeper. It was the Nigerian’s second headed goal since joining from Arsenal, more than he managed in more than 100 games for the Gunners.

That restored advantage would have proved as shorter-lived than the first were it not for Pickford. When another cross from the right flew across the Everton penalty area, the England international pulled off a brilliant reflex save at his near post to deny Patrick Cutrone.

In contrast to the last home game against Watford, this was an open, entertaining and often breathless encounter between two attacking sides. Indeed, there was a moment in the 33rd minute when Leander Dendoncker gave the ball away cheaply in midfield and instead of launching an attack, Everton simply turned backwards as if to pause for breath.

Both teams had chances to impact the scoreline for the remainder of the half but after Coleman saw a shot charged down having turned inside his marker, Michael Keane came to the rescue when Yerry Mina failed to deal with a cross by deflecting Cutrone’s effort behind.

Encouragingly, Everton came out of the half-time break still willing to push to extend their lead and Kean was looking increasingly lively and mobile up front. Gomes very clearly had his mojo back at this point after his awful personal showing last time out, Sigurdsson was significantly more effective than he has been at any point thus far this season, and Delph was a driving force in midfield.

Richarlison, having looked subdued and one-dimensional prior to last Wednesday, was terrorising Wolves down their left side – as good in the tackle at times as he was with the ball at his feet – and he drew the first of Willy Boly’s two bookable fouls against him four minutes into the second half.

After the passage of the hour mark, however, the Blues became a little sloppier with their use of the ball and while Digne had started to get the measure of Traoré, shutting down that primary avenue of attack, Wolves still looked dangerous going down the middle, particularly after Joao Moutinho had replaced Cutrone.

Yet, surprisingly, Santo’s men were at their most threatening from set-pieces and, in particular, from throw-ins in the final third. Not since Rory Delap was lobbing balls into opposition boxes like a Howitzer at what used to be known as the Britannia Stadium has the concession of a throw-in put you so much on edge as when Ryan Bennett prepared to launch one into the “mixer”.

Everton had dealt with the threat fairly well up but succumbed meekly in the 75th minute when Boly was allowed to flick Bennett’s throw on to the back post where Raul Jiminéz stole in untracked by Digne to head in the second equaliser of the game.

That could have been another of those pivotal, confidence-draining moments but Everton would be back in front for good when Digne and Richarlison underlined the precious value of quality when they combined beautifully with 10 minutes left.

The Frenchman appeared to be going nowhere, closer to the corner flag than the penalty area but he cracked a superb cross in from the byline that Richarlison met with a towering leap over Boly that he guided past the keeper’s fingertips and inside the far post.

3-2, Goodison was bouncing and Everton went for the jugular before eventually shutting the game down in stoppage time having twice been denied by excellent one-handed stops by Patricio. First, the Portuguese denied Richarlison a hat-trick by diving to his right to push the Brazilian’s curling left-footer away to safety; then partly unsighted by Dominic Calvert-Lewin, he reacted instinctively to palm away Mina’s goalbound header off a corner.

All that was left was for Boly to check Richarlison’s attempted surge down the touchline and earn his marching orders before referee Taylor called time on a victory that felt massive on a number of levels.

It represented three well-earned points that lift Everton above three of last season’s top six heading into the international break. More than that, though, in contrast to this fixture last season where the Toffees were played off their own park, it demonstrated just how good Silva’s team can be when they have their best players firing on all cylinders and if they can firm up the back line a bit more.

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Reader Comments (76)

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Si Smith
1 Posted 01/09/2019 at 22:29:27
A fantastic performance by the blues against a top side, showing real bottle to make sure the 3 points were in the bag.

Siggy and Delph were great through the centre, Iwobi and Richalison were electric in the wide positions, and Kean looked lively up top, but for me Gomes was immense.

I'd imagine Delph will get a lot of plaudits, rightly so too, and Richalison was brilliant, but Gomes won everything, every 50/50, every 60/40 and 70/30 also, but for me he just run the game doing all the dirty work.

It's a shame we have the international break now, but always better to enter one of these periods after a win than a loss.

Let's hope the real Everton have shown themselves today! 👊

Jerome Shields
2 Posted 01/09/2019 at 23:16:36
Everton played well today and though Wolves made seven changes they still tried the same tactics as the last time. Setting up shop, pushing Everton wide, pushed up into and harrying the midfield and depending on the counter-attack, playing the ball behind the full-backs with strong wing runs.

Silva changed players and tactics more than I expected. He first of all changed the forward line with Iowbi, Kean and Richarlison. Iowbi on the right, coming into the centre at every opportunity. Kean a holding centre-forward role and Richarlison on the right wing. . . not his best wing. Iowbi took full advantage on the wing and centrally engaged the defence. Kean did struggle in his role as did Calvert-Lewin and Tosun. But Kean managed to get turned and face his marker. What's more, he did try to get past them, though was unsuccessful.

The goal that Richarlison got midweek did him the world of good, as the goals he got today will also. He worked very hard tracking back, something that wasn't in Lookman's game. Both Kean and Richarlison showed their youth, getting caught out on occasions with their decisions.

The big change in my opinion was in midfield. At last, Everton have a pivotal player in midfield in Delph; I hope he stays fit. He managed in play to be in a pivotal position going forward and defending with the players he was supporting, aiding movement and dictating the tempo of the game.

When Wolves attacked, he positioned himself in front of the central defenders, so that Everton appeared to have two lines of defence. This had the advantage of allowing the centre-backs to move up in support, not fearing being caught out of position. Reply also offered cover. Mina took full advantage.

Delph was constantly linking play and in the right position going forward. This freed up Gomes, who still needs to find a higher gear, and more importantly Sigurdsson, to be more creative in attack and the main playmaker in the final third. There is still work to do in the final third as players get up to speed and improve in link play through the centre. There was very little wrong with the link play going forward on the wings.

Today Everton didn't miss Gueye's tackling, which I thought at times was too deep, and brought the team shape too deep. A byproduct was pressurised possession, resulting in defending too deep and not enough pushing up, which did not happen today. Reply allows defenders to do their job.

Silva had the right tactics and the right players on the field today. What's more, Schneiderlin and Davies are options that would play well with Delph in this privotal role. No wonder Schneiderlin was in the opposition penalty area midweek. A lot of work will have to go into keeping Delph fit, the best signing of the Summer and none of us realised so at the time.

Jamie Sweet
3 Posted 01/09/2019 at 23:27:33
Agree with Jerome on Delph. If we can get 30 games out of him this season, £8m will seem like an absolute bargain!

Not just for his overall play, but having a proper leader there in the centre of the park is something we have sorely lacked for a long time. I think the knock-on effect of that throughout the team could prove quite significant.

Mike Gaynes
4 Posted 01/09/2019 at 23:40:21
Si #1, unless you tuned in at halftime, I'm a little bewildered by the glowing reviews for Gomes. He was everything you say in the second half -- after a first half of dumb fouls and bad passes. On the Forum someone was actually calling for Schneiderlin to replace him. I wonder what Silva said to him at half-time, because he did come out transformed and made a couple of vital tackles late on.

Jerome #2, good analysis, especially of Delph's contribution. I do believe we continue to miss Gueye, but Delph adds something crucial defensively by controlling the ball so well that he prevents turnovers and counter-attacks.

Gordon White
5 Posted 01/09/2019 at 23:46:19
Really pleased. Agree with what's already been said. Really important to go into the International Break with a win.

Team, and individual confidence, is so important.

Derek Knox
6 Posted 02/09/2019 at 00:24:39
Having watched MotD 2, and seeing the goals we conceded, the second being the worst, I can only hope that work on simple defending will be practiced during the break.

However this won't be easy as the main culprit, our Captain, will be away on International Duty. I'm so glad that Richarlison was on form for scoring today otherwise those 3 lovely points could have been 1.

However, there are vast signs of improvement taking place, and luckily our South American and African contingency will not be away for the International Break.

Jerome Shields
7 Posted 02/09/2019 at 00:29:24
Mike #4,

You are right: Everton miss Gueye, but I felt at times the defence and particularly the right flank were too dependent on him.

Delph does not do defenders jobs for them but does offer cover. Scherneiderlin tried to do the same job as Gueye and got sent off and was lucky not to injure himself or someone else. Gueye could tackle 20 times a game and not even get a warning.

There will be games when Everton will have to be more defensive and break up play, Gueye was made for games like that. Hopefully a fit Gbamin will go some way to fill that void, but it will be impossible to fill it completely.

I think that Brands and Silva realise that and have changed the midfield accordingly. Maybe they let Gueye go because they wanted to change it.

Alex Fox
8 Posted 02/09/2019 at 00:47:10
Very pleased to see the team dig in and claw out a win. All too often in recent years we would have seen two dropped points there.

Special praise for Richarlison. What a player he is when on-song. He put in a real shift, was a constant handful, and showed he knows how to finish. No reason he can't hit 20 goals this season, even operating from a wide position.

One point that I haven't seen mentioned elsewhere... Today marks the first league game in 23 years that an Everton matchday squad hasn't included an Academy graduate.

Yes, it's the modern game. Yes, plenty won't care. And yes, many will feel Tom Davies et al aren't showing enough to justify a spot in the squad. But I still can't help but feel it's a shame that this run has come to an end.

Derek Knox
9 Posted 02/09/2019 at 00:55:39
Jerome, yes we do miss Gueye but, like you alluded to, we tended to rely on him too much, too deep, covering the defence. Realistically, once it was made evident that PSG wanted our man, and that he wanted to go to, we had to change.

It's early days and players are starting to get used to it, but at last we seem to be more attack-minded with quicker build-up play. Mind you, we have some new attackers on board as well.

In Iwobi and Kean, who I believe have added a new dimension, okay Moise Kean hasn't managed a goal yet, but has only been played from the bench until Wednesday and today, so it is only fair to not expect too much from the 19-year-old.

Mike Gaynes
10 Posted 02/09/2019 at 02:16:57
DK, and Kean could easily have two goals already in his limited playing time... hit the post once and pulled another just barely wide. He will definitely break through soon.
Kieran Kinsella
11 Posted 02/09/2019 at 03:01:07
I like Iwobi as he is fearless. He is not afraid of the ball. That is something we've been missing.
Jerome Shields
12 Posted 02/09/2019 at 06:28:49
Increasingly in the Premier League and maybe for some time has become a squad game in my opinion. So all the players of the squad should be making a contribution. Not just in replacing injured it tired players, but to affect change of play, tactics and new challenges.

In my opinion, it was too easy to set up against Everton. Today it wasn't as easy. To some extent we can be thankful to the match midweek and layoffs for red cards and injuries, which forced Silva to change the team and allow new players to be tried. It could also be Silva was forced to change tactics. Delph just did the job he learnt over the years. Something that are midfield players weren't capable off.

If this all had not have happened, we would be making the same progress as last year and heading into the international break hoping that a rest and more training would change things. It wouldn't have had, as we all have found out in many occasions.

Delph in this pivotal role will bring out the best in the players around him and hopefully others will take note, learn and mimic him. Davies, Bernard, Schneiderlin, Calvert-Lewin, even Tosun will all benefit.

I agree with Alex#8 that young players from within Everton have to be introduced to the squad as well. It is a concern that they are not being introduced and loaned out young players are brought back, having got more experience. I hope the loaning out of young players is not just to reduce wages, but to develop players. Is Brand thinking the Academy is not good enough. What is he doing about it then?

Even Holgate needs to play, his distribution during the Lincoln game was as good as Minas, if not better with 10 completed long passes.

Kean will score, but he has to be part of an Everton team that can vary its challenges all over the field. It is only by doing this that Everton can achieve the relentless intensity necessary to challenge in all competitions.

Paul Birmingham
13 Posted 02/09/2019 at 08:46:32
A hard-fought battle and great result, it reminded me of days gone by in the 1970s.

Great displays by Jordan, Charlie, Alex, Fabian and Siggy.

Plenty of room for improvement but a great boost for confidence and going to a bogey ground time to rest the Bournemouth bogey this weekend.

Another day last season and the year before, I'd say Everton would have capitulated.

Great teamwork and crossing, long may it last.

Stan Schofield
14 Posted 02/09/2019 at 09:25:06
It's encouraging that we've won two games this week, both very good games, against the type of opposition against which we were struggling to break down last season.

Wolves are a good side, but they're not a great footballing side that plays the ball out from the back, they rely on a lot of long balls and directness, plus they use black arts. They seem a bit overrated by the media. But we broke them down repeatedly.

Similar with Lincoln, who look like a pub team, readily broken down.

So, on the face of it, it looks like we're developing some fight, less fragility, and more options going forward, to add to the obvious footballing qualities we have. The latter enabled some great performances against top sides last season, and hopefully the former will enable us to deal with the lesser teams including those who park the bus.

Brian Harrison
15 Posted 02/09/2019 at 09:46:37
Wolves are a well-drilled side that play with pace and aggression, and they pushed us all the way. I think everybody inside Goodison Park realized the importance of a win on Sunday, you could really feel the tension when Wolves equalized late on. But I thought we played well throughout the game but made 2 defensive errors that could have led to us dropping points.

I think we have found our new Gareth Barry in Fabian Delph, he is the optimum professional who goes about his work without any fuss. His ball retention and passing ability are there for all to see, but what impressed me the most was his ability to be in the right place at the right time. I think Gomes and Sigurdsson benefited from having Fabian in there as he offers so much more going forward than Schneiderlin but also gets about the park quicker as well.

Great to see Richarlison back on the goal trail, and Iwobi looks to be a great addition to the team, 2 goals in 2 games — what a start. I posted on Saturday that I think this could be a season when the top 6 arent the usual suspects, and I think ourselves and Leicester and Wolves will challenge for those places.

My only concern is should we have bought an experienced striker as I think its a massive ask to rely on 2 young men to play in that position and deliver the goals that will be needed to secure a top 6 or even better place.

Young Kean looks very exciting and I am sure he will be a success given time, and Calvert-Lewin, while putting in a shift every game, is still struggling to score.

Rob Dolby
16 Posted 02/09/2019 at 10:32:24
Derek @6.

What defending would you recommend our captain practice.

Coleman was directly involved with the first and indirectly for the 2nd but he is a defender so he should be involved.

Unless we concede via a glaring mistake, I'm not sure why we need a scapegoat.

Phil Lewis
17 Posted 02/09/2019 at 10:41:04
Very pleased with the overall performance, despite a couple of shaky errors at the back, it was encouraging.

I felt Silva could have made the substitutions a little earlier. We were running out of steam and ideas, you felt that their equaliser was imminent.

Delph was outstanding. The captain's armband should be his. No disrespect to Seamus, but Delph looks a natural commander by example. He misplaced only one pass all afternoon. I thought that Richarlison worked hard and took his goals brilliantly.

Moise Kean is not ready. I believe the boy will be something special, but he is having difficulty finding space as yet.

Unlike many on here, I am still a fan of Calvert-Lewin, his selfless contribution to the team often goes unnoticed by his critics, seemingly because of his obvious poor goal return. However, he gives us options as does Tosun. But I would still like us to sign an experienced proven goalscorer in the January window, to complete what is becoming an extremely competitive squad.

Tony Everan
18 Posted 02/09/2019 at 10:54:49
A good win, Delph was great yesterday, what a signing for £8M.

I like Iwobi too, he brings something different, seems always to want to be involved and committed. He looks like a team player, a good player to have in the dressing room a good positive character. He has been popping up at at the right time and scoring important goals. he is cementing his place.

Richarlison has taken a few games to get back to form, midweek he was looking sharper, yesterday sharper again. He is a top-class player.

Kean is showing glimpses of what he can do, he is desperate to perform well. He needs to keep on giving his all and be focused, the goals will come I have no doubt about it. It will be difficult for him being so young in a new country in the best league in the world. But with support from the fans and belief from the manager he will become a fantastic player for us.

James Newcombe
19 Posted 02/09/2019 at 12:14:09
Great result, a bit worrying how we struggled to deal with their crosses at times, but i'm sure there will be some work put into that.

Pickford made some good saves. I thought Gomes was superb... And what a player Delph is, keeping him fit is paramount.

The best thing about the game was the character we showed after losing a lead, twice. Last season, and for many seasons before that, our heads would have dropped and would quite possibly have gone on to lose, never mind regaining the lead again!

James Marshall
20 Posted 02/09/2019 at 12:24:49
Am I alone in thinking we looked way too open in midfield at times? I thought Delph was our best player, despite Richarlison scoring 2, including the winner, I thought he was bang average and mostly stopped and passed the ball sideways.

Delph is our new Gareth Barry in many ways – an old head, well coached, steady, keeps the ball moving and provides cover/makes himself available at all times. He's a class act.

We looked suspect on crosses – it was mayhem on our box a lot of the time, and Pickford did really well catching a few. He looks as though he's worked on that over the summer. A good win against a very physical Wolves, but we do look a bit too open for my liking.

Michael Lynch
21 Posted 02/09/2019 at 12:44:47
It was hard to judge Kean, as he doesn't seem to be well suited to playing with his back to goal, but what I did like was the way we mixed it up.

Bringing on Calvert-Lewin and Bernard changed our focus, Pickford started banging a few long balls up and Calvert-Lewin won most of them, with Bernard feeding off him. I doubt if we'd have scored the winner any other way and it was Bernard who fed Digne to stick the cross in for Richarlison to score.

Gomes was pretty dreadful first half but in the second half, particularly after Wolves scored their second, he was absolutely superb. It was like watching an episode of the Incredible Hulk, he seemed to turn into a different player and the Wolves lads were just bouncing off him. Brilliant.

Delph MotM for me, but special mention for Sigurdsson in what was his most effective game in a long time. Great game, great atmosphere at the end.

Raymond Fox
22 Posted 02/09/2019 at 12:47:43
Your not alone, James @ 20, we look good going forward but we do look a little light on defence from the midfield.

Having said that, I prefer to have the emphasis on attack, when you do that you invariably make yourself more prone to concede goals though, its swings and roundabouts, al la my mate Roberto.

I think our defence at the back is decent they haven't conceded many goals. If we can keep our key players fit we will be right up there at the season's end, I think we have the best squad now than for a long time.

Jerome Shields
23 Posted 02/09/2019 at 12:52:08
James #20

That's where we will miss Gueye, breaking up attacking play. Silva is trying to dominate possession in the middle of the field, rather than curtail opposition play. Everton players do a lot of tracking back. But there will be games where Everton will have to set up shop and stifle play.

Everton in these last two games have conceded two goals on each occasion. Against better sides, they may struggle if they don't tighten up more. Players can get in on Pickford too much for my liking if challenged, since the start of the season.

Thomas Lennon
24 Posted 02/09/2019 at 13:01:15
A step forward. Top 6 will struggle against Wolves.

Eight goals, five scorers, we are going to be difficult to stop scoring. Who needs a centre forward?

Always amusing when those players that were 'disappointing signings lacking ambition' 2 weeks ago turn out to be big contributors to a step up in quality of the team play. Perhaps Brands & Silva actually know what they are doing?

For the older heads amongst us, a transformative central midfield player who is aggressive, a leader and can pass but has a suspect injury record reminds me more of a captain we had in the 1980's than Gareth Barry. Let's see what we think of him by Xmas.

Scott Hall
25 Posted 02/09/2019 at 13:14:08
A fabulous performance by Delph. He just knew where to be at all times. Stopping critical breaks from Wolves, and always being the outlet to relieve pressure when we were passing from the back. For me, a 10/10 performance from our new Number 8.
Derek Knox
26 Posted 02/09/2019 at 14:13:53
Rob @16, Seamus should have cleared the ball, not pretty I know, but juggling the ball in front of goal with fast inrushing forwards is not a good idea. I suspect he was hoping Pickford would pick it up.
Jay Wood

27 Posted 02/09/2019 at 15:10:56
I think we supporters can over-analyze goals we concede at times. But...I'm going to do just that in response to some posts above!

Without doubt, the technical staff will study the goals we concede to the n-th degree, but I fancy that will be to unveil systemic errors rather than focus on individual player errors (important as the latter can be).

For example, I have no doubts that Everton would have prepared for the threat of Traore down our left flank. Digne would have been briefed on that.

The 'failing' on Wolves first goal for me was primarily caused by Digne's inability to first get to the ball quicker ahead of Traore to clear his lines. Having failed to do that, he was then too easily bullied and turned allowing Traore to get in behind the defence with ample time to play in the centre he did. THAT sequence was the primary cause that we were exposed on their first equalising goal.

Seamus for me was unfortunate. If you watch the play, his body shape was correct. He attempts to turn away from the goal (facing his own goal, back to attackers) with attackers looming. As it was, he could have let the ball continue its trajectory and then followed the ball with no Wolves player threatening behind him, but Seamus wasn't to know that.

Derek's description of Seamus 'juggling the ball in front of goal' is not a fair or accurate one. The ball hits his planted left foot and falls invitingly for the forward to knock in. It wasn't a poor or deliberate error by Seamus. It was more unfortunate than that.

The team and Digne quickly learnt from that in-game and Traore, thankfully, didn't threaten to repeat the play for the remaining 80 minutes of the game.

Their second goal was again, for me, a systemic failing. Again, the team would have been briefed and set up to defend from long throw-ins close to our penalty area.

Now all game at set-pieces I was concerned that Delph seemed to be detailed to mark some of their biggest units. It was he and Gomes who were on 'Boly watch' for their second goal and neither competed strongly enough to defend against the Wolves' man's knock-on. Digne again was culpable in letting the goalscorer run off him to knock it in.

Whilst it is imperative on all players to follow the Bobby Robson mantra when defending – "Don't be the dozy bugger that doesn't do his job" – of greater importance is the system and team strategy to defend against expected attacking lines from the opposition. On that measure, we didn't do very well on the two Wolves goals, but I hope we will have learnt from it.

Tony Hill
28 Posted 02/09/2019 at 16:12:31
Excellent words from Delph reported in the Echo about creating a winning mentality at the club. Just what was needed, and revealing that he thinks it needed to be said.
Jay Harris
29 Posted 02/09/2019 at 16:28:13
Some good points there, Jay, but the first goal was down to the whole defense IMO.

Traore should have been flattened rather than allowed to just brush past Digne.

The cross should not have been allowed to go across our goal by Pickford, Kean or MIna and Seamus should have followed the first rule of football and simply put the ball out for a corner.

Having said all that, I thought we played very well overall and dominated a very good game of football.

It also shows you how important confidence is because, after his Lincoln contribution, Richarlison looks alive and motivated again and, once Gomes started to realise he isn't a bad player, he wasn't (if that makes sense).

Kieran Kinsella
30 Posted 02/09/2019 at 16:34:16
Tony Hill @28

Just read that and you could see that attitude in the last two games. Previously we've greeted adversity with a shrug of the shoulders and said “It's one those days.” I think Delph and Iwobi will help change that.

Steve Guy
31 Posted 02/09/2019 at 18:02:19
Classic Sourness must be getting worried!


Stan Schofield
32 Posted 02/09/2019 at 18:26:21
Looking at how Traore went past Digne, I thought Digne looked tired, which perhaps he was after the Lincoln game. I notice on MOTD there was some emphasis on Wolves being tired, perhaps a bit of bias towards them. They seem to be media-fashionable at the moment.
Alan J Thompson
33 Posted 02/09/2019 at 18:44:51
I was most pleased by the numbers we got into the penalty area when previously we too often had only Calvert-Lewin.
Dermot Byrne
34 Posted 02/09/2019 at 19:06:13
Love it that yesterday we were able to bring Bernard off the bench. He can change a game and to me is really exciting. Jaysus we may have a good squad were we can deal with an injury and pick right players for most appropriate game.

Now that seems a step forward from previous decade.

Dermot Byrne
35 Posted 02/09/2019 at 19:22:57
Just seen same view in Echo as my last post.

Promise I hadn't seen it first!

Kevin Latham
36 Posted 02/09/2019 at 19:30:39
We thought Gana was a big loss but, if this is what we can expect from Delph, then bring it on. I admit that I've seen my arse over this as I didn't think he was a particularly inspired signing but I love the way he patrols that midfield. He can break the play like Gana did but he looks to be more than useful on the ball too, whereas Gana's main function seemed just to win it, his distribution was a little suspect at times.

I'm not at all having a pop at Gana, whom I was sorry to see go, just so pleased that on early showing we seem to have a more than adequate replacement. And an added bonus seems to be his winning mentality which we sorely need. I'd better not judge any more players, my arse-seeing has put me off me tea.

Andrew Keatley
37 Posted 02/09/2019 at 19:32:06
As other posters have outlined above, Iwobi and Delph both seem very comfortable in possession, and consistently want the ball. They are already showing signs of being very good signings.
Nick White
38 Posted 02/09/2019 at 19:33:12
I believe in the more open Bournemouth away game that Kean will get his 1st goal for us. Matter of time!
Rob Dolby
39 Posted 02/09/2019 at 19:34:37
The over analysing of the goals we conceded is getting more bizarre. Credit has to be given to the attacking team sometimes.

For our winning goal, do we blame their right-back for not stopping the cross, Boly for not heading it clear, or do we say it was a fantastic cross and a great header?

1st rule of football. what does that even mean.

Dermot Byrne
40 Posted 02/09/2019 at 19:39:12
Ist rule of football is that there isn't one really.

Score more than you concede? Always keep a clean sheet.

Out of these two supposed first rules people say sometimes, first one for me everytime.

Duncan McDine
41 Posted 02/09/2019 at 19:44:59
I thought the first rule about football was: Nobody talks about football.

The second rule about football is: Nobody talks about football.

Here on ToffeeWeb we break these rules far too often, so to balance things, I talk a lot of bollocks.

Dermot Byrne
42 Posted 02/09/2019 at 19:48:57
Lol Duncan. We are all well capable of that.

Would hate to see all my posts over the years.

Duncan McDine
43 Posted 02/09/2019 at 19:57:40
Hehe Dermot, well I didn’t want to say.
Dermot Byrne
44 Posted 02/09/2019 at 20:04:30
Dunc... if we cannot spout crap as well as the occasional good things, then football chat just becomes the home of those whose lives are nothing but Everton.

Also, my experience in the proverbial bar is that it is usually very funny with that self-effacement that means we all accept each other's views and admit our episodes of nonsense.

Long may it continue!

Mike Gaynes
45 Posted 03/09/2019 at 03:53:34
Phil #17, Kean has played exactly 217 minutes for us. I hope when the cops finally catch up with me, you're not on the jury. For chrissakes give the kid a little time.

Stan #32, Traore went past Digne because Traore is one of the fastest and most powerful footballers on the planet. He's not very good, but his physical gifts are extraordinary, and he caught Digne off-balance. I don't think Digne was tired -- on the contrary, I don't think a fatigued footballer bursts past two defenders and delivers a perfect far-post cross for an 80th-minute gamewinner.

Dermot #42, you'll be happy to know I've saved all your posts for posterity. Also for blackmail purposes. Old guy like me needs an extra income stream in retirement.

Ivan Varghese
46 Posted 03/09/2019 at 04:28:16
Always knew that Silva, given money to spend, can and would craft a great team. I remember so many were asking to remove Silva. There are ups and downs.
Jerome Shields
47 Posted 03/09/2019 at 05:01:07
I agree with Jay that Everton's defensive weaknesses are systemic rather than down to individual defenders and instances they are involved in. Everton need to defend as a unit and it's the tracking of runners, cutting out of crosses, and the taking up of supporting defensive positions that the weaknesses are derived from. It is difficult to coach this dual role into players who are not defenders, but Silva is trying and his selections favour players who show effort in developing this dual role.

It's the same in attacking play. Once Kean gets a goal, it will do him a world of good and he has been close. Richarlison's goal midweek really helped him. Kean has shown his potential, but a goal would do a lot for him and it will come.

Everton need to develop this aspect of play.

Tony Everan
48 Posted 03/09/2019 at 07:43:15
Mike #45

Agree about Traore, a beast, I think though we will counter that threat differently next time round. I thought Lucas was a bit too friendly with him and needed to do what Wolves were doing all day long, ie fouling him to within an inch of the law, and a bit more if necessary.

Like the blackmail idea. There is enough material been spouted on here to pay for the the new stadium and a free round of drinks on the opening day.

Ian Bennett
49 Posted 03/09/2019 at 08:26:14
I thought we were fortunate that Wolves played a tough Europa League game in Thursday. They weren't at full strength and that showed with 5 or 6 bookings, and a sluggish performance. Subs were brought on but, by and large, left players on a disciplinary tightrope.

Everton for whatever reason never look to utilise the early yellow to expose other teams. Surely if you have a player on an early booking, you look to run him ragged. This either gives you a chance to score or you're playing 10 men which increases your chances to WIN. It's like it's some 19th bad form to expose the opposition.

Against Villa, we got the right back on an early booking, then did fuck all down that side for the next 85 minutes.

Two bad goals given away by us, but we deserved the win. Their keeper kept them in it, and Wolves looked flat without Mourtinho or Matt Doherty. I thought Delph was excellent.

Nicholas Ryan
50 Posted 03/09/2019 at 09:02:02
A couple of points. Before criticising Moise Kean too much, remember, HE'S A TEENAGER... with all the insecurities and immaturity, and duff decision-making, that comes with being a teenager.

Also, he's away from his home country, probably for the first time in his life. He's also got the weight of expectation, and a big(ish) price tag.
He's going to make mistakes, and he's going to try too hard (that's how teenagers respond, when they're trying to please).
But, at the end of the day, is there an exciting footballer in there, waiting to get out? ….. you bet there is!

Fabian Delph is exactly what we need. He doesn't do anything flash. I remember a distinguished cricket coach, saying that Sachin Tendulkar doesn't do anything wonderful, he has simply perfected the basics. Delph does the simple things to perfection. That means, that Gomes is then released, to do the thrilling stuff!

Jordan Pickford has, somewhere, had a 'Road to Damascus' moment. He is now mature, dependable …. and catches EVERYTHING! I wonder, if, like Ben Stokes, he realised, that drunken nights out, leading to brushes with the Police, were the path to nowhere!

James Marshall
51 Posted 03/09/2019 at 09:13:44
For me, the two things I've taken from the first 4 games of the season, is that the manager doesn't yet know his best side, and that consistency is going to be key (surprise!).

Clearly as an attacking unit there's a decent team in there, but defensively I have my doubts. We're too open in midfield for one, and if we play like we did against Wolves all season, we'll win a few and get murdered by some teams.

Nicholas@50 makes a good point about Kean – he's essentially a child in a foreign country, playing a mans game. Give him time, cut him plenty of slack, the kids talented and needs close nurturing, as per Marcel Brands when we signed him.

Stan Schofield
52 Posted 03/09/2019 at 10:04:04
Mike @45: I've had another look at the game, and yes, you're right! I think I was just looking for an excuse, given that an MotD pundit was claiming Wolves were tired, which of course they might have been.
David Ellis
53 Posted 03/09/2019 at 11:56:07
Thomas #24 – I agree Delph is the new Peter Reid... although Reid was never our (official) club captain. The Rat was captain in those days.

I always thought Delph was a decent player. Glad he's still got 'it'!

Neville Jones
54 Posted 03/09/2019 at 17:49:38
Agree with most of this, thought Digne, for the first time ever, struggled for pace with Traore in the first half but afterwards more than redeemed himself, one of the best crosses I have seen from what looked like an impossible angle and defended well.

Nice to see Moise Kean playing, I really want him to score, for his age and experience is great, what a signing and completely transformed the attack but was clearly tired later.

DCL?, what can I say, a genuine and extremely hard working player and with Dunc’s help might go places, one of which would be picking the ball out of the opposition net a la Sigurdsson. Until then, you cannot repeat you CANNOT have a no. 9 who doesn’t score.

I wouldn’t have given him the no. 9 because it’s too much on young shoulders and he is not the best player in that position although after he came on he was vastly improved compared to Villa (which isn’t saying much).

He is a possible impact player to come on and rough up the opposition defence but should not be our first choice. By the way, Silva’s idea of relying on last year’s players came badly unstuck at Aston Villa, yes we had injuries and yes, players need time to settle in but a half fit Gomes and a midfield lacking Gueye simply won’t work, we were punished. Difference between the 2 games? The middle of the park, the spine played much better.

Get our central defence pairing over their teething troubles in time for the top teams and we might get some much needed decent form and look like a side that can challenge for Europe.

One last thing, I don’t know about anybody else and perhaps, this was almost inevitable but the irritating, petty and vindictive booing by a minority of supporters of Lyon and Siddle was extremely embarrassing.

They were here as guests presumably of Tim Cahill, so it was a kick in the teeth for him, one of our greatest players and besides which, apart from playing for Australia, what harm have they done? Decent hardworking cricketers wearing Everton scarves, I hadn’t realised that we had suddenly morphed into Headingley or suddenly all been overcome with patriotism, Everton fans have more in common with the down to earth Aussies than with the stuck up MCC, come on you Aussies.

John McFarlane Snr
55 Posted 03/09/2019 at 18:04:37
Hi Neville [54] regarding your last point, I sit in the Park End stand on the side nearest to the visiting supporters, and while I am not saying that Everton fans didn't boo, the booing [in my opinion] was mainly from the Wolves fans. I don't know if you were in a part of the ground where it was obviously Evertonians who were being disrespectful, or maybe you witnessed it via television.
Brent Stephens
56 Posted 03/09/2019 at 18:18:53
John #55. I sit in the Upper Bullens about the halfway line and I distinctly heard the booing.
John McFarlane Snr
57 Posted 03/09/2019 at 18:28:56
Hi Brent [56], could you say that it was Everton fans, or like myself consider it was the Wolves supporters in the main? It may well have been from the Gwladys Street end of the ground, and being in excess of 120 yards away the sound wouldn't have travelled so well.
Brent Stephens
58 Posted 03/09/2019 at 18:32:10
Hi John. They were voices in the home section of the Upper Bullens. Not many, though, and more by way of banter I suspect. As guests of Timmy, it would have been more appropriate for them to receive at least a luke-warm welcome!
Brian Williams
59 Posted 03/09/2019 at 18:44:05
I heard the booing mixed with applause and Aussies would expect nowt else to be honest. They're among the top nations for being competitive to the n-th degree and they'd certainly boo Poms who were paraded on a footy pitch in Oz.

Don't think it was embarrassing as such. Perhaps some are just too sensitive. You can bet the Aussies aren't and if I'm not mistaken, I saw them both have a bit of a laugh at the reception.

Tom Bowers
61 Posted 03/09/2019 at 18:58:41
I think Digne is a class act. Traore has been doing well for Wolves of late and when he is in the mood is a strong powerful runner.

Everton should have been prepared for this. The defensive lapses need to be addressed if Everton are to stay up with the top guns.

Stephen Brown
62 Posted 03/09/2019 at 19:01:54
Just watching the highlights again and I've got something I haven't had for a while (probably since Cahill, Arteta, Jageilka days) I genuinely like a lot of the players as they seem to be on board with Everton!

Richarlison, Keane, Coleman, Digne, Pickford and a few others seem to genuinely care if we win!! Long may it continue!

I should know better but I'm optimistic again!!

Neville Jones
63 Posted 03/09/2019 at 19:23:33
First of all, a thank you to those who replied to my comments.

I was mildly surprised that most people were basically sympathetic to my opinions on our Aussie cousins but two points:

1. John, thank you, fine until your barbed remark, “maybe you witnessed it from television”. No actually, I was there and am a season ticket holder in the Gwladys Street where most people actually applauded apart from one idiot behind me who booed very loudly.

2. No, of course neither Lyon or Siddle would have been embarrassed because they are tough but I was because of their treatment. Of course, perhaps at another time/another place they should have expected “nowt” else but NOT at Goodison, they took the trouble to wear scarves and were there as guests of Tim Cahill. If England cricketers, by some fluke, appeared as guests of a former English player at an Aussie football ground, I would not expect them to be booed. Also, it appears that their “crimes” appear to be that of wanting to win, oh dear, not cricket.

John McFarlane Snr
64 Posted 03/09/2019 at 19:35:14
Hi Neville [63]I'm sorry that you regarded my remark as 'barbed' I was merely uncertain whether or not your opinion was based on match attendance, or if the television coverage played a part in your opinion of the incident. Apologies if I gave the impression [as you suggest], that my remark was barbed, there was no intention to offend.
Mike Gaynes
65 Posted 03/09/2019 at 20:32:40
Cheers Stan #52. And NBC and Univision also said that about Wolves.

Neville, Brent, John Sr...., apologies but who was being booed and why? Who are Lyon and Siddle?

John McFarlane Snr
66 Posted 03/09/2019 at 20:38:45
Hi Mike [65] the people who were being booed were Australian cricketers and their names are Lyon and Siddle, and as I know nothing about cricket and have no interest in it, that's all I can tell you.
Brian Williams
67 Posted 03/09/2019 at 21:19:21
As Bill once wrote. Much ado about nothing.

I'd liken the mild booing to that of an audience booing the pantomine villain, which the two Aussies WERE bearing in mind we're in the midst of the Ashes.

I could imagine Tim telling 'em "You'll probably get a bit of stick."

I could also imagine them replying "Wouldn't have it any other way mate."

Jack Convery
68 Posted 03/09/2019 at 22:25:45
Delph looks a snip and just the old head we have been looking for since Koeman foolishly let Barry go - here's hoping he stays fit. Good to see Richie and Siggy looking more like their old selves. Iwobi looking good.

Kean is a bit raw but it was his first game and he will almost certainly play a major part this season. Team spirit also seems to be on the rise and finally, this team is gaining an identity.

Eddie Dunn
69 Posted 03/09/2019 at 23:12:40
Mike, these two Aussies are international cricketers taking part in a 5 match series against England. There are two tests left and with teams are tied at 1-1. You Americans may find it hard to imagine playing for 5 days and getting a draw! The booing was. I'm sure, all good-natured! It's a fascinating series and continues tomorrow at Lancashire's ground, Old Trafford.

You usually play games (and sport) with your friends and win, lose or draw, you want to beat the buggers as much as anything, but at the end of the day, we all remain friends.

I am losing a long Scrabble championship against my wife, but today clawed two games back, so I am 19-11 down in a championship up to 20. It's our 31st wedding anniversary – but it didn't stop the competitive edge! We remain though, the best of friends!

Peter Mills
70 Posted 03/09/2019 at 23:43:53
Mike, to add to Eddie’s post #69, in the last game a couple of weeks ago, try to imagine an England footie team being 4-0 down, coming back to 4-4, then penalties.

One England player had to score all 20 of his penalties, and the England goalie had to save 5. And the England goalie was wearing spectacles.

Against their great rivals who, as Brian #67 says, play the role of fantastic rivals, fearsome opponents and pantomime villains.

That’s kind of what happened.

Jay Wood

71 Posted 04/09/2019 at 01:06:19
That's a pretty droll description of the Headingly test, Peter!

Just missed out that the goalie's glasses kept steaming up and he stopped each time between penalties to wipe them clean!

Did the Sheffield branch of t'family get across to see any of it live?

Can't wait for tomorrow's test at Old Trafford to start. It's gonna be a cracker! Hope the weather is set fair for five days.

(PS: Let's hope our posts go under the editor's radar...).

Mike Gaynes
72 Posted 04/09/2019 at 01:07:48
Eddie and Pete, thank you. The mysteries of cricket are as impenetrable to me as quantum physics, but I think I get the general idea.

And Eddie, warmest congratulations on 31 years of a marriage so strong that it can survive extended competition on the Scrabble board. However, I must ask... are you 100% certain you clawed two games back today? I have a suspicion they might have been your anniversary gift from your wife. She might not have wanted to taint your special day by consigning you to final oblivion with victory #20. Just asking.

Peter Mills
73 Posted 04/09/2019 at 07:11:49
Jay #71, I've just logged on to check the post hasn't been taken down - it's on one of Lyndon's articles, perhaps it will escape the censor's zeal!

T'Blades side of the family are too engaged with their footie at present, Zouma having been put forward for beatification over the weekend.

Jay Wood

74 Posted 04/09/2019 at 11:31:09
Peter, is there going to be a family get-together (and possible fall-out!) for the Everton-Blades match in a couple of weeks?

I watched the Blades live a few times last season. They always impressed. Clearly well-disciplined and well-organized with everyone knowing - and doing - their jobs.

Chris Wilder is a rariety in football these days. Born and bred fan and ex-player of the club he now manages with an obvious affinity with supporters that 'gets' what the club is about.

I liked his quote after Saturday's draw at Chelsea: "We are not day trippers getting autographs and collecting shirts."

I genuinely hope they do well and stay up (apart from two games, of course!).

Another PS: the above was written as a pretence to disguise the real intent of my post - Warner out for another duck!

'ave at 'em, England!

Peter Mills
75 Posted 04/09/2019 at 13:36:21
Jay, there will be a delegation crossing the Pennines on a cultural visit, unfortunately it is a game I am having to miss. That may help alleviate any internal family stresses.

It’s currently lunchtime, but Smith is moving ominously.

Eddie Dunn
76 Posted 04/09/2019 at 14:46:52
Mike, my good wife has just heard your comments and assures me that she would never throw a game to make me happy. Sadly today's game is out of my reach and she is sure to complete another championship victory this evening.
I feel like there is a glass ceiling that I just can't break through!
Dave Abrahams
77 Posted 06/09/2019 at 17:07:05
I never saw last Sunday's game versus Wolves but, to me Delph is like Liverpool's Milner, an experienced and thorough professional footballer, knows the game inside out, been around, now in his prime, and uses his knowledge to talk to his teammates, encourage them and give them a verbal bollicking when necessary.

Early days yet but I think he will prove to be an excellent signing for the Blues and taking over the captain's job, which he already does anyway.

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